Guest Author - Kathryn K Free
During the WWDC 2010 conference Apple unveiled the iPhone4. This new release in June 2010 was met with excitement and success. However, flaws would emerge leading to numerous lawsuits. Users immediately began complaining about lost signals. . .as many call it, an antenna issue.
What was the change? The new iPhone4 boasted of a new design, improved hardware and a HD camera. The iPhone4 has a stainless steel frame designed to serve as an antenna. Is this new design the core issue for the reported lost signals?
Apple has admitted knowing about this ‘lost signal’ flaw stating that the signal bars display incorrect readings, inflating signal strength delivering poor reception. The problem lies in the fact that Apple has revealed their knowledge of 'some kind of' defect prior to the iPhone4 release. Apple released an open letter to all its iPhone users letting them know of this ‘calculation error in the signal strength display’ but many seem to question whether it is really a miscalculation or design error.
As of today, three class action lawsuits have been filed against Apple. The first suit was filed in Maryland and accuses both Apple & AT&T of negligence, defect in design, manufacture and assembly, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty for merchantability, breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, deceptive trade practices, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud by concealment. Gizmodo has obtained a copy of the actual complaint. According to Gizmodo, the other two class action lawsuits were filed in Texas and California.
It seems that some type of defect, or calculation error, was known by Apple and AT&T prior to the release which was not disclosed to consumers. AT&T customers seem to have only three options. First, keep their phones and adjust to holding it in different positions so as not to loose reception. Second, return their phones and pay the standard restocking fee. Third, purchase a specially designed case protecting the iPhone4 frame and antenna. I find no option here that seems fair. Was AT&T wanting to sell their specially designed cases or beat the new Sprint Android to market?
As I read the articles about this flaw or error one thought kept coming to mind. Apple & AT&T are feeling the heat from the Android market. Their fear and haste seems to have caused these companies to release a product not ready for the market. Fear causes not only individuals to make wrong decisions but companies as well. I would encourage iPhone users to consider the Android. Not only does it seem that the consumers have not been told the truth, they are going to be changing the ‘unlimited data’ to tiered data plans. Apple & AT&T got the consumers hooked on using their iPhones and iPads for everything. . .now consumers have to pay? This sounds a lot like bait-and-switch. You reel them in and then when they are hooked, change the playing field!
Reading these articles, I lost respect and confidence in the honesty of Apple or AT&T. I will be interested to see how these lawsuits turn out and how customers service is handled from this point forward. These reception errors have to be severe for so many to surface in such a short amount of time.